2013 saw the Central Bank of Oman enact regulation which reduced the interest ceiling of personal and housing loans from 7 per cent to 6 per cent.
This new rule applied to all loans extended from 2nd October 2013. This is an obvious sign of the Central Bank’s desire to maintain a balance between burden on borrowers and banks’ commercial interests.
The amendment to the banking law made by Sultani Decree in relation to Islamic Banking in Oman, which is the last country in GCC countries to implement Islamic Banking, continues to transform the financial market in Oman.
There is a desire by the Government to further support the Islamic finance initiative, to boost small and medium enterprises sector (to cut the unemployment rate in the country), and to facilitate inward investment and capital into the Oman market. With that in mind the Oman Central Bank and Capital Market Authority are considering enactment of new laws including AML, amendments to commercial companies law and capital market law and issuing new regulations including Sukuk regulation, all of which are still under consideration.